four views of a statue

Tarragona is a beautiful city on the west coast of Spain, originally founded by the Romans. To our shame, we forget who is represented by the statue below, but it is an interesting illustration of how you can change mood by choice of viewpoint. Still more changes woukd be feasible by shooting early or late in the day, or under different lighting conditions.

All were shot with a 90/2 Summicron on a Leica M4-P on Kodak Elite Chrome EBX; scanned; then (except for #2) manipulated for perspective in Adobe Photoshop to remove the 'falling over backwards' perspective. Much the same effect could have been achieved quicker, easier and arguably better with a 210mm lens and a 6x9cm roll-film back on a view camera, or a 360mm on 4x5 inch.

 

 

 

#1

The statue as it first caught Roger's eye, against the glowing gold stone of the building behind it. Great if you have stereo vision; easy to forget that most cameras don't, and that the image therefore gets lost against the background.

#2

Actually not #2 at all, but the last shot, taken to round off the series. Pure bathos: the statue is lost against a jumble of buildings, many of them ugly and modern. Not a picture you would want to show anyone except as part of a series like this.

 

 

#3

A marked improvement, but now he's rather dwarfed by the building and the stone (marble?) of the statue looks rather cold against the blue sky and warm stone. Also, there's simultaneously too much context and too little. On the one hand, do we really want to see that iron framework behind him? On the other, we now have three seperate and substantially unrelated picture elements.

#4

Our favourite. He is in the context of the building, but not overwhelmed by it, and although there isn't much blue sky, there's a little as counterpoint to the golden stone of the building. Of course it is excellent good fortune that we have light against shadow on the left and shadow against light on the right, but when you think about it, this is inherent in the lighting.

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© 2007 Roger W. Hicks